Awards and Honors, Student News

Best Student Team at HackVT

The Bennington College team won the Best Student Team at the Vermont Hackathon Hack the Climate, run by HackVT. Rohail Altaf '17, Asad Malik '19, and Sarah Shames '17 created an app called Grow, which allows people within two miles to create a community cyber food market.

In an article in VT Digger, Rohail Altaf explained the genesis of the idea: “As we were eating Cheetos for 24 hours, we wondered how we could hack the climate in the meaningful way. Around the fifth bag we began to think about how a lot of the food we’re eating nowadays has a huge carbon footprint attached to it, because it’s traveling hundreds of thousands of miles.” 

The competition involved combing through the state's environmental data and, in the space of 24 hours, creating a software application that would help to abate the impact of climate change.

The competition was stiff: of the 54 groups that competed, 31 were from colleges and high schools. The Bennington College team took home a $2000 prize.

The team was supported by faculty member Robert Ransick, and among the courses the students have taken at Bennington are Ransick's Future Studio and Web as Artistic Platform, along with design tutorials, CAPA projects, and others.

In its fifth year, HackVT enlists talented, creative minds to help the greenest state in the country continue its model of environmental innovation and to help the state meet its aggressive goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.